Federal Internet Law & Policy
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Virginia Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY
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§ 18.2-152.3 . Computer fraud; penalty.

Any person who uses a computer or computer network, without authority and:

1. Obtains property or services by false pretenses;

2. Embezzles or commits larceny; or

3. Converts the property of another;

is guilty of the crime of computer fraud.

If the value of the property or services obtained is $200 or more, the crime of computer fraud shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. Where the value of the property or services obtained is less than $200, the crime of computer fraud shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-152.6 . Theft of computer services; penalties.

Any person who willfully obtains computer services without authority is guilty of the crime of theft of computer services, which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the theft of computer services is valued at $2,500 or more, he is guilty of a Class 6 felony.


Municipal Broadband

  • Bristol :: Bristol Virginia Utilities :: Optinet : Fiber Network (currently the only city owned in VA). Initiated in 1999 but halted when VA passed barring city provisioned residential telecom service. Law was overturned in Fed. Court (Attorney James Baller). Now online serving as of Jan. 2006 11k residential customers and 1300 business customers.
  • Residential High-Speed Internet, BVU
  • Charles Owens, Stimulus Funding to Stretch Broadband Through 8 Va. Counties, BLUEFIELD DAILY TELEGRAPH (July 3, 2010)
  • Eric Slack, Bristol Virginia Utilities: Constant Change, ENERGY TODAY MAG. (July 1, 2011)
  • Christopher Mitchell, Bristol Gets Stimulus Funds for Middle Mile and Starts Smart Grid, MUNINETWORKS (July 14, 2010)
  • Bristling Over Muni Broadband In A Town Divided, National Journal, National Journal Jan 6, 2006
  • Bradley Kramer, Pioneering Spirit: Bristol, Va., Trailblazing Muni FTTH, METASWITCH, 22 (Mar. 2008).
  • BVU February 25, 2005: Commission Rules in Favor of BVU :: Feb 25 2005
  • Municipal FTTH Deployment Snapshot City of Bristol, Virginia, BVU OptiNet, BROADBAND COMMUNITIES MAG. ONLINE, Aug.-Sept. 2008,
  • The fiber-optic network called OptiNet in Bristol, Virginia, (17,300) has posted negative net income of $4.4 million in 2003 and $3.3 million in 2004. - The Need to Permit Broadband from Public Entities, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, p. 51 (May 2006) PDF
  • Infinera Case Study: BVU, INFINERA, 1 (2010).
  • Data in 2001; telco, cable, July 2003. Established 2001. Cap Investment $31 million $3,300 investment per household. Alleged BVU cross-subsidizations; BVU adopted a 40% electric rate hike in 2005, after increases in 2004: water (22.4%), sewer (4%), CATV (12%- 15%). - Municipal Broadband: Digging Beneath the Surface, Balhoff & Rowe, LCC, p. 34 (Sept. 2005)
  • Dickenson County :: Dickenson County Wireless Integrated Network :: $34.95 / month* ::
  • Congressman Boucher Announces Federal Funding For Dickenson County Wireless Integrated Network Sept 2004
  • Ben Scott, Telco Lies and the Truth About Municipal Broadband Networks Free Press, P. 12 April 2005
  • King George County, Virginia issues RFQ for countwide wireless broadband network, MuniWireless 1/3/2007
  • Manassas | BPL | EPONs | City of Manassas | City Public Works | Pop. 37k | HH 12.5k | Price: $28.95 | Available to residential and business users. Vendor: Comtek
  • Vendor: Communications Technology, Inc. | Press Release Oct. 2005
  • Manassas, Virginia, BPL Startup Sparks ARRL Response 2003
  • News
  • City of Manassas Deliver First City-Wide Availability of Broadband Over Powerline, LinuxElectrons Oct 2005
  • Roanoke
  • Shenandoah Wireless Little info provided on website.
  • Government Intranets
  • Culpepper BIG Wireless :: county-wide wireless network for government, schools, businesses and residents
  • News
  • Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative Nears Goal - Virginia's Rural Fiber Project At 99%, Broadband Reports 7/10/2006
  • Law
  • VA Code § 15.2-2160
  • § 15.2-2160. Provision of telecommunications services.

    A. Any locality that operates an electric distribution system may provide telecommunications services, including local exchange telephone service as defined in § 56-1, within or outside its boundaries if the locality obtains a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4. Such locality may provide telecommunications services within any locality in which it has electric distribution system facilities as of March 1, 2002. Any locality providing telecommunications services on March 1, 2002, may provide such services within any locality within 75 miles of the geographic boundaries of its electric distribution system as such system existed on March 1, 2002.

    B. A locality that has obtained a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4 shall (i) comply with all applicable laws and regulations for the provision of telecommunications services; (ii) make a reasonable estimate of the amount of all federal, state, and local taxes (including income taxes and consumer utility taxes) that would be required to be paid or collected for each fiscal year if the locality were a for-profit provider of telecommunications services, (iii) prepare reasonable estimates of the amount of any franchise fees and other state and local fees (including permit fees and pole rental fees), and right-of-way charges that would be incurred in each fiscal year if the locality were a for-profit provider of telecommunications services, (iv) prepare and publish annually financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles showing the results of operations of its provision of telecommunications services, and (v) maintain records demonstrating compliance with the provisions of this section that shall be made available for inspection and copying pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

    C. Each locality that has obtained a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4 shall provide nondiscriminatory access to for-profit providers of telecommunications services on a first-come, first-served basis to rights-of-way, poles, conduits or other permanent distribution facilities owned, leased or operated by the locality unless the facilities have insufficient capacity for such access and additional capacity cannot reasonably be added to the facilities.

    D. The prices charged and the revenue received by a locality for providing telecommunications services shall not be cross-subsidized by other revenues of the locality or affiliated entities, except (i) in areas where no offers exist from for-profit providers of such telecommunications services, or (ii) as permitted by the provisions of subdivision B 5 of § 56-265.4:4.

    E. No locality providing such services shall acquire by eminent domain the facilities or other property of any telecommunications service provider to offer cable, telephone, data transmission or other information or online programming services.

    F. Public records of a locality that has obtained a certificate pursuant to § 56-265.4:4, which records contain confidential proprietary information or trade secrets pertaining to the provision of telecommunications service, shall be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.). As used in this subsection, a public record contains confidential proprietary information or trade secrets if its acquisition by a competing provider of telecommunications services would provide the competing provider with a competitive benefit.

  • VA Code 15.2-1500
  • B. Except as provided in § 15.2-2160 or Article 5.1 (§ 56-484.7:1 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 56, no locality shall establish any department, office, board, commission, agency or other governmental division or entity which has authority to offer telecommunications equipment, infrastructure, other than pole or tower attachments including antennas or conduit occupancy, or services, other than intragovernmental radio dispatch or paging systems shared by adjoining localities, for sale or lease to any person or entity other than (i) such locality's departments, offices, boards, commissions, agencies or other governmental divisions or entities or (ii) an adjoining locality's departments, offices, boards, commissions, agencies or other governmental divisions or entities, so long as any charges for such telecommunications equipment, infrastructure and services do not exceed the cost to the providing locality of providing such equipment, infrastructure or services. However, any town which is located adjacent to Exit 17 on Interstate 81 and which offered telecommunications services to the public on January 1, 1998, is hereby authorized to continue to offer such telecommunications services, but shall not acquire by eminent domain the facilities or other property of any telephone company or cable operator. Any locality may sell any telecommunications infrastructure, including related equipment, which such locality has constructed, and such locality may receive from the purchaser or purchasers, as full or partial consideration for the sale of such infrastructure, communications services to be used solely for internal use of the locality. The locality shall not be involved in any way in the promotion or marketing of services provided by any purchaser.
  • C. A locality, electric commission or board, industrial development authority, or economic development authority, may lease dark fiber. For purposes of this section, "dark fiber" means fiber optic cable that is not lighted by lasers or other electronic equipment. The locality, electric commission or board, industrial development authority, or economic development authority, shall not be involved in the promotion or marketing of the lessee as the provider of the services.
  • VA Code § 56-265.4:4
  • VoIP


    Cable Open Access

  • MediaOne v. County of Henrico
  • 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Mediaone Group, Inc v. GTE Intelligent Net , 4 Cir 7/12/01
  • Battle for Control of Internet Access Pits Cable Against Consumer Watchdogs, Newsfactor 7/17/01
  • Busting Up The Cable Oligopoly -, ISP Planet 7/13/01
  • Court Rules Against Open Access, InternetNews 7/12/01
  • Court Rules for AT&T on ISP Open Access, Reuters 7/12/01
  • Consumer Federation of America "Friend of the Court" brief submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals July 11, 2000
  • Federal District Court
  • MediaOne Group, Inc. v. County of Henrico, 97 F.Supp. 2d 712 (E.D. Va 2000).
  • openNET Coalition Expresses Disappointment, Optimism Regarding Virginia Court Decision Overturning Open Access Requirement
  • Richmond Rules on Open Access InternetNews 5/15
  • AT&T & MediaOne Sue To Block Cable System Forced Access Newsbytes 01/21
  • Battle Lines Drawn Over Cable Md., Va. Legislatures Confront Issue of Internet Access Washington Post 2/7
  • Cable Fight Continues 01/21 InternetNews
  • Cable access oppponents win a couple more ZDNet 11/15/99
  • Richmond City Council Allows AT&T, MediaOne Transfer Internet News 11/15/99
  • Open Access Debate Comes to Virginia InternetNews 9/30/99
  • Fairfax VA Department of Telecommunications and Consumer Services Website (has no info on case)